The Time Traveller's Guide to Restoration Britain

The Time Traveller's Guide to Restoration Britain : Life in the Age of Samuel Pepys, Isaac Newton and The Great Fire of London

4.21 (454 ratings by Goodreads)
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The past is a foreign country: this is your guidebook.

If you could travel back in time, the period from 1660 to 1700 would make one of the most exciting destinations in history. It is the age of Samuel Pepys and the Great Fire of London; bawdy comedy and the libertine court of Charles II; Christopher Wren in architecture, Henry Purcell in music and Isaac Newton in science - the civil wars are over and a magnificent new era has begun.

But what would it really be like to live in Restoration Britain? Where would you stay and what would you eat? What would you wear and where would you do your shopping? The third volume in the series of Ian Mortimer's bestselling Time Traveller's Guides answers the crucial questions that a prospective traveller to seventeenth-century Britain would ask.

How much should you pay for one of those elaborate wigs? Should you trust a physician who advises you to drink fresh cow's urine to cure your gout? Why are boys made to smoke in school? And why are you unlikely to get a fair trial in court?

People's lives are changing rapidly - from a world of superstition and religious explanation to rationalism and scientific calculation. In many respects the period sees the tipping point between the old world and the new as fear and uncertainty, hardship and eating with your fingers give way to curiosity and professionalism, fine wines and knives and forks. Travelling to Restoration Britain encourages us to reflect on the customs and practices of daily life - and this unique guide not only teaches us about the seventeenth century but makes us look with fresh eyes at the modern world.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 464 pages
  • 162 x 240 x 33mm | 861g
  • The Bodley Head Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1847923046
  • 9781847923042
  • 227,137

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Review Text

"Everything you wanted to know about these fair isles between 1660 and 1700... Exciting times."
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Review quote

"Ian Mortimer is among the best: a conjuror who is always bright, engaging and well-informed... Any tour of late 17th-century Britain is guaranteed to be exhilarating. And with Mortimer in charge, one always travels first class" -- John Adamson * Mail on Sunday * "Ian Mortimer is a historical truffle hound... The Time Traveller's Guide to Restoration Britain is just such fun to read... Mortimer writes with real freshness and enthusiasm,... His book is a delightful read." -- Andrew Holgate * Sunday Times * "This entertaining tourist guide brings the late 17th century alive...The latest Time Traveller's Guide will entertain and inform anyone with an interest in this extraordinary period" -- Andrew Taylor * The Times * "Thoroughly entertaining... It is crammed with insights, facts and enjoyable anecdotes, which create a sense of the experience of living in Britain between 1660 and 1700... This is a compelling book and one of considerable erudition... This is the book that will provide the most richly colourful account of Britain in this period" -- William Gibson * History Today * "Everything you wanted to know about these fair isles between 1660 and 1700... Exciting times." -- John Lewis-Stempel * Sunday Express * "Mortimer composes his vivid mosaic of life between 1660 and 1700 through the fancied experience of a time traveller" -- Christopher Howse - summer read * Telegraph * "Entertaining and demotic rather than a work of scholarly nitpicking" -- Robbie Millen * The Times * "When it comes to (armchair-based) time travel, he's your man. If you have yet to experience his in-the-now approach to history, I envy you. What strange words and weird customs you will learn... Our guide's treatment of the past is, as ever, a case of great knowledge worn lightly. He is by turns funny, scholarly, poignant and almost always fascinating... As a way of meeting our ancestors almost face to face, there is something magical about his writing" -- Rebecca Armstrong * i * "Ian Mortimer manages to inform and delight in equal measure" -- Sue Baker * Bookseller * "Enthralling and detailed" -- Roger Lewis * Mail * "A fascinating and involving angle on history" * Choice * "Words of contemporaries including Pepys, Mariner Edward Barlow and Celia Fiennes bring to life the changes of the period" -- Kirsty Woods * Who Do You Think You Are? * "Irreverent, witty and beautifully democratic, this is a delight." -- Rebecca Armstrong * i *
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About Ian Mortimer

Dr Ian Mortimer is the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England and The Time Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England, as well as four critically acclaimed medieval biographies, and numerous scholarly articles on subjects ranging in date from the twelfth to the twentieth centuries. His work on the social history of medicine was published by the Royal Historical Society and won the Alexander Prize.

Mortimer is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He also writes historical novels. He lives with his wife and three children in Moretonhampstead, on the edge of Dartmoor.
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Rating details

454 ratings
4.21 out of 5 stars
5 39% (175)
4 45% (206)
3 15% (68)
2 1% (5)
1 0% (0)
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